Astarloa facing dismissal after blood test

Former world champion Igor Astarloa, who pulled out of the Giro d'Italia after just one stage, is facing dismissal, his Milram team announced Thursday. The team had apparently asked the Spanish rider not to start stage 2 of the Giro after internal blood tests showed an aberrant result. The result did not mean that the 32-year-old Astarloa had tested positive, the team added, noting that a decision to fire him is pending. His lawyer, meanwhile, is contesting the results.

Former world champion Igor Astarloa, who pulled out of the Giro d’Italia after just one stage, is facing dismissal, his Milram team announced Thursday.

The team had apparently asked the Spanish rider not to start stage 2 of the Giro after internal blood tests showed an aberrant result.

The result did not mean that the 32-year-old Astarloa had tested positive, the team added, noting that a decision to fire him is pending. His lawyer, meanwhile, is contesting the results.

Astarloa has been a member of the Milram team since last year but it has been years since his big successes, when he won Fleche Wallonne and then the world road race championships in Hamilton, Canada.

Earlier this month, Milram fired Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi after the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended him for a year following a positive test for the asthma medication Salbutamol.